Day 20: Farmer leaders to meet to decide future strategy
Farmer union leaders breaking their fast after observing a day-long hunger strike on the 19th day of their ongoing protest against the Centre's new farm laws, at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border, on December 14, 2020.IANS

Day 20: Farmer leaders to meet to decide future strategy

New Delhi, December 15, 2020

Agitating farmers continued to occupy the borders of the national capital today on the 20th day of their protest against the three Central farm laws that they want repealed.

While they are not talking to the Centre presently, the leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will hold a meeting among themselves on Tuesday at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border to decide their further strategy.

Harinder Singh, Punjab farmer leader and the BKU general secretary, told IANS that the farmer leaders will be meeting at the Singhu border on Tuesday at noon to decide the strategy ahead.

However, when asked about the possibility of holding talks with the Central government, he said till now all the farmer organisations are demanding that if the government considers repealing of the three new farm laws, then only there could be further talks.

Singh said the Central government was adamant on the three farm laws. The farmers have rejected its proposals and there was no question of holding further talks on the laws, said Singh.

He also said if there is any new proposal from the government, the leaders of all the farmer organisations involved in the agitation would think over it.

On the other hand, the government is constantly appealing to the farmer leaders to hold negotiations and find concrete solutions. But the leaders of the protesting farmer organisations say that their agitation would continue till the Union government withdraws the three new farm laws.

Meanwhile, a section of farmer leaders, who are not taking part in the protest, are demanding that the new farm laws should not be rolled back. They say the new laws are beneficial for the farmers. However, they also lend their support to the amendment proposed by the Union government in the new farm laws.

The three new laws implemented by the Central government which the agitating farmer want to be repealed are: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

However, the list of the demands by the farmers is quite long. They also demand a new law to guarantee the purchase of all the notified crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) while the Central government has given written assurances to continue the current system of procurement of crops at the MSP.

In addition to the MSP demand, other demands by farmers include rolling back of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, and the abolition of stricter penalties and provisions of fine in the ordinance related to stubble burning.

IANS

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